March 17, 2023 |
Photo – Snow Moving Equipment – Courtesy Carbon County Road and Bridge
Carbon County snowplow crews are not in the business of clearing private roads, the board of commissioners told a snowbound citizen earlier this month.
During March 7th‘s Board of Carbon County Commissioners meeting, Louie Stolns said snow drifts have made the roads into Mountain View Estates, northeast of Saratoga, impassable. He asked the commissioners to have the county plow the area.
Stolns proposed having the county annex the private roads, making them the county’s responsibility. Road and Bridge Superintendent Kandis Fritz said it isn’t as easy as it sounds. The road must meet certain specifications before the county can provide maintenance. Fritz added that the road crews were already working overtime, dealing with existing roads in the county’s inventory.
Stolns said he would keep the roads passable if he could rent the necessary snow removal equipment, but he said every place is out of stock. Commissioner Chairwoman Sue Jones said having county crews clear the road into Mountain View Estates would set an unwanted precedent, inviting similar requests to maintain other private roads. Commissioner Jones said residents, including Stolns, were given an opportunity to have the neighborhood’s roads taken over by the county decades ago, but they chose not to.
Fritz agreed with Commissioner Jones. She said people living on remote county roads have been trapped for weeks because her crews have been busy fighting drifts elsewhere. Fritz asked how it would look if she prioritized clearing private roads before finishing the county’s streets. Commissioner Jones said the county’s hands are tied.
The county is in the process of annexing Cherokee Road, west of Rawlins city limits. Stolns asked how hard the annexation process was. Commissioner Jones said it’s not a fast or easy undertaking.
Fritz said a Saratoga resident had recently purchased a large piece of snow removal equipment from the county. Commissioner Jones offered to put Stolns in contact with the individual. Stolns said he knew the person, but was unaware he had the equipment. Commissioner Jones ended the meeting by telling Stolns he was better off leaving things the way they are.
With change in the weather to warmer temperatures, county residents living on dirt roads likely are dealing with deep, greasy mud now more than snow.